The Impact of Item Wording and Behavioral Specificity on the Accuracy of Direct Behavior Ratings (DBRs)

T. Chris Riley-Tillman, Sandra M. Chafouleas, Theodore Christ, Amy M. Briesch, Teresa J. LeBel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

Direct behavior ratings (DBRs) combine aspects of both systematic direct observation and behavior rating scales to create a feasible method for social behavior assessment within a problem-solving model. The purpose of the current study was to examine whether accuracy of DBRs was affected depending on the behaviors selected to be rated using a DBR. Specifically, the impact target behavior wording (positive vs. negative) and degree of specificity by which the behaviors were defined were investigated. Participants (N = 145), assigned to 1 of 4 experimental conditions, were asked to view video clips of a classroom setting and rate target student behavior. Results indicated that the wording and specificity of behavior included on a DBR may influence the accuracy of ratings. The most accurate ratings of academically engaged behavior occurred when the behavior was defined with a global definition and positive wording. In contrast, the most accurate ratings of disruptive behavior were obtained with a global definition and either positive or negative wording. Limitations, implications, and future directions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalSchool Psychology Quarterly
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2009

Keywords

  • behavioral assessment
  • direct behavior ratings (DBRs)
  • formative assessment

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